Text: Creative Photography Series: Learn how to capture beautiful snow nights with your DSLR camera.

Today I am starting a new creative series of articles to help inspire and push your creativity (It will hopefully get me out of a rut as well!).  Every now and again I will pop in to share a shoot I have done and explain how I got the photos. I hope you will join me over on the Facebook page and post your creative adventures with your camera.  

With winter upon us here in the States there are inevitably going to be those snowy evenings that bring quietness and some of the most beautiful light.  I find that once everyone has gotten off the road and they are warm and cozy inside, it is the best time to grab your camera (and in this case your tripod) to go out and capture the beautiful reflected light that is created by the snow.  

This shoot was a little unusual as I used a Nikon D700 as opposed to my Canon that I usually shoot with.  I was experimenting with the full-frame camera before I upgraded! That being said the process to get these photos is the same no matter what camera and lens you are using.  

Snowy night time scene

Settings for the photo above:  Aperture f 3.2, Shutter Speed ¼ sec, ISO 1250

When you are shooting at night and you are trying to get the camera to capture what your eyes are seeing, you need to play around with the camera settings and this is why shooting in manual mode is best.  The camera always assumes that you want to perfectly expose the image all the time. That means bright photos with a lot of light. In this case, I wanted the camera to capture what I was seeing, which was this twilight glow and I also wanted as much of the frame in focus as I could get considering it was outside in the dark.  

With it being outside at night I needed a wider aperture, a slow shutter speed (definitely had the tripod out for this), and a higher ISO.  To get the most of the frame in focus I chose my focus point to be on something in the middle, and they moved my camera back to recompose the shot.  Had I focused and exposed for where the light was, the entire foreground would have been out of focus. I also chose to use exposure bracketing to lower my exposure, basically underexposing the image.  But that underexposing is what causes that dreamy glow look I was going for.  

Another interesting thing about this photo is that the high contrast between the snow, light, and dark objects creates a stunning black and white photo.

Black and white picture of a snowy night time scene

So that’s all for today, I hope this inspires you to get out at night and experiment with your camera.  

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